September 5, 2005

Medford, Ore. Eyes Largest Redevelopment In Its History

" Twelve years after the leveling of the Medco lumber mill complex, a large commercial-industrial development will rise out of the ashes in northwest Medford," the Mail Tribune reports. "Plans for Northgate Centre, an 84-acre development with shopping, office space and manufacturing, will be presented to the city planners in the next couple of months."

The $220 project would be the largest redevelopment project in Medford's history, Mike Montero, urban development consultant and chairman of the Rogue Valley Area Commission on Transportation, told the paper.

Interestingly, while it is sited at the intersection of three highways and one major local thoroughfare, plans for the first phase of the project call for small and mid-sized stores, along with pedestrian-friendly plazas. "The clients’ position is that the site is not planned for big box," Montero told the Mail Tribune - and developers are seeking local and regional retailers, not national chains you can find in a mall. In other words, developers are looking to create a unique sense of place, not another strip mall. Planners want to create a place where people can come, stroll and shop, finding things they couldn't find in any other mall in America; not to mention a place where people could live, shop AND work.

Update: State corrected to Oregon.

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